WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — An out-of-work Bay Area man and his wife, a hairstylist, came forward Friday to claim a $33 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot, California Lottery officials said.
Massoud Ardalan has frequented the Heather Farm Shell gas station at 1790 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek since discovering the store carries pumpkin seeds, a favorite snack, according to lottery officials.
On Wednesday, he stopped by the station to fuel up on gas, and with $15 in his pocket, decided to forgo the pumpkin seeds and pick up a Lotto ticket.
The following day, Ardalan, who was laid off from his workplace of 16 years in November, dropped off his wife, Homeira, at the local hair salon where she works, lottery officials said.
He returned home to find a message from a friend saying someone in Walnut Creek had won the $33 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot and urging him to check his tickets.
Ardalan was stunned to find that all six numbers on his ticket matched the winning numbers.
He went to the salon where his wife works and said he had something to tell her.
“I didn’t believe him,” she said.
On Friday, the couple of 25 years arrived in Sacramento to claim their prize, which is estimated to come to about $23 million once it is cashed out, according to lottery officials.
Ardalan, who is a reprographics manager by trade, said he plans to use the winnings to start his own business and to put unemployed friends and family back to work. He said he is also considering buying some rental properties and a salon for his wife to run.
“That’s a lot of money, we can do a lot of things, buy a lot of pumpkin seeds! Maybe buy a pumpkin seed factory!” he said.
Lottery officials said Ardalan’s wife was planning to return to work Friday afternoon and this weekend, even with her change of fortune.
The Shell station where the winning ticket was purchased will receive a $165,000 bonus for selling it, lottery officials said.
The winning numbers were 1, 2, 3, 22, 34 and 8.
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